2 Stories You Probably Haven’t Heard About

The first, the one about the kid who hid in a wheel well of a jetliner on its way to Hawaii, did get publicity. It’s just after more was found out about him that it slipped under the radar.

From The Blaze/AP:

(TheBlaze/AP) — The mother of a teen who stowed away in the wheel well of a plane that flew over the Pacific says her Somali-American son was trying to reach her in Africa, according to Voice of America.
A 16-year-old boy, seen sitting on a stretcher, who stowed away in the wheel well of a flight from San Jose, Calif., to Maui is loaded into an ambulance at Kahului Airport in Maui, Hawaii Sunday afternoon, April 20, 2014.

Ubah Mohamed Abdullahi said in an interview with VOA’s Somali service that her son, Yahya Abdi, recently learned she was alive after being told by his father that she was dead.

FBI agents say surveillance video shows the 15-year-old jumping out of the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines jet on a Maui tarmac Sunday after surviving a cross-Pacific flight from San Jose, California. He told authorities he had argued with his father before leaving his house.

The 5 ½-hour flight over the Pacific would have exposed him to sub-zero temperatures and very low temperatures, likely knocking him out for the duration. He has been hospitalized ever since.

The boy’s parents are divorced, and he lives with his father, Abdilahi Yusuf Abdi, a cab driver in Santa Clara, California.

Hmmm. Looks like there’s more to this story than a kid on a joy ride.

Then, in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has a dubious friend:

From the Chicago Sun Times:

Facing up to 15 years in prison and stripped of his U.S. passport, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s former city comptroller ordered his wife this week “to get him a fake birth certificate from Pakistan for a passport,” according to court records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Now, Amer Ahmad is on the lam, and a judge issued a warrant Friday for his arrest.
Friday morning in Ohio, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson ordered authorities to track down and arrest Ahmad for violating the terms of his release on bail pending his sentencing.

“The U.S. Marshals Service is conducting the search for Mr. Ahmad,” said Fred Alverson, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Columbus, Ohio.

Ahmad — who has continued to live in Chicago since resigning from his $165,000-a-year City Hall post last summer — pleaded guilty in December to being part of a large kickback and money-laundering scheme when he was Ohio’s deputy state treasurer.

The crimes occurred before Ahmad joined Emanuel’s administration in April 2011. An outside investigation that City Hall commissioned to review Ahmad’s conduct revealed no criminal wrongdoing by Ahmad or his staff. That investigation cost Chicago taxpayers $825,000.

In recent months, Ahmad, 39, had become physically and verbally abusive toward his wife and three children, ages 7, 6 and 2, and had been undergoing psychiatric treatment, his wife wrote in her petition for the order of protection.

Ahmad pleaded guilty in December to federal conspiracy and bribery charges, admitting he used his Ohio government position to secure “lucrative state business” for Douglas Hampton — his high school classmate and financial adviser — “in exchange for payments” to himself and others.

In his plea agreement, Ahmad said Hampton made secret payments to him, and, as Ohio’s deputy treasurer, he steered state securities brokerage work to Hampton. Prosecutors said Ahmad and a business partner — Joseph M. Chiavaroli, also of Chicago — hid those payments by passing them through an Ohio landscaping company they owned.

Hampton also funneled cash to Mohammed Noure Alo, an attorney, lobbyist and close friend of Ahmad from Columbus. Altogether, Hampton got about $3.2 million in commissions for 360 trades on behalf of the Ohio state treasurer’s office. Ahmad and his co-conspirators — who have all pleaded guilty — got more than $500,000 from Hampton, according to prosecutors.

Guess it’s just a case of the Chicago way, now the Washington DC way.

“When I tried to get my daughter away from him, he grabbed me by the hair and threw me down on the ground and pushed me under my dresser,” she wrote.

She also said he “has tried to run me and my father over with a car.”

Samar Ahmad said her husband asked her to get a fake birth certificate from Pakistan “on or around April 23.”

“When I refused, he became irate,” she wrote.

Ahmad was raised in Ohio by Pakistani immigrant parents.

After his guilty plea, Ahmad remained free on bail but surrendered his passport. Though his sentencing date hasn’t been set, he faces up to 15 years in prison and has agreed to pay $3.2 million in restitution.

Ahmad had been a rising star in the Emanuel administration before abruptly resigning last summer, saying he wanted to seek a job in the private sector.

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